Gov. Fallin Seeks Federal Aid for Earthquake Recovery

  • Joe Wertz

A federal disaster declaration would free up funding for grants, low-interest loans and housing assistance for businesses, homeowners and renters in Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties.

The Oklahoman’s Michael McNutt reports that other counties could be added to Fallin’s FEMA request if further damage is found.

Preliminary damage assessments conducted last week confirmed damage to nearly 200 homes and businesses in Lincoln and Pottawatomie counties.

Many residents did not have earthquake insurance.

Earthquake damage is harder to evaluate than tornado and flood damage, because the damage often isn’t visible from the outside of buildings, The Oklahoman reported.

Virginia was hit with a 5.8-maginitude earthquake in August, causing an estimated $9 million in damage to about 1,000 houses, the paper’s Andrew Knittle reported earlier this month. The state’s initial application for FEMA assistance was denied. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell appealed the decision and won.

From The Oklahoman:

And like many Oklahomans affected by the 5.6-magnitude quake that struck Nov. 5 in rural Lincoln County, most of the property owners in Virginia had no viable insurance to cover the losses, McDonnell said.

Fallin declared a state of emergency on Nov. 9, which makes it easier for state agencies to make purchases for emergency resources and is a first step toward seeking federal disaster declaration.